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Are the palestinians a "people"

Reader comment on item: Is There a Palestinian People? Can It be Defeated?

Submitted by Richard Martin (China), Jan 28, 2017 at 01:23

For someone I have great respect for, your illogic in making your argument that yes, the palestinians are a people, saddens me.

A "people" requires that people having certain things. First a history. The dates you use are basically current event dates that have no historial meaning. The 1960s is just behind the corner of time and using to justify a "history" is not Historical.

Secondly, a people must have a uniqueness that disassociates themselves from other people. Those unique qualities woud include a language, cultural unique qualities such as dress, cuisine, customs, etc. Thirdly- and here we return to a real "history", they must have their own writers, artists, kings or leaders, proof of certain "facts' such as currency, historical buildings found in places that remained under their authority and control and under their leadership.

Kurds have those unique facts, palestinians do not. Their relationship to the land of Israel is that of migratory tenant farmers who would move to the land and leave the land when a combination of Ottoman taxation and Bedouin banditry made farming a hopeless endeavor.

Why did so many of them refer to themselves as 'southern Syrians"? because that is where they were from. They never maintained any committment to the land of Israel until the Zionist movement brought Jews and those Jews werable to create the one thing that no Arab anywhere could create. Jobs. Thus palestinians are economic migrants from various Arab entities that border on Israel.

And they never called themselves palestinians for another very good reason. That was the name used by Jews to describe themselves and what self respecting Arab would use the same name that Jews used for him/her self.

Illegal Mexicans in the Southwest US have a greater claim to being there than palestinians have to being in Israel. And when Jews were told by the Mandate authorities starting in the 1930's that the land was "full up and could not sustain any more people" can you tell me how many "palestinians: were trucked into Israel during WW II to help with the British war effort?

And why did the UN create a special definition of a "palestinian" that applies only to them and is different from all others which prove a person belongs to the land he is claiming? Becasue very few palestinians had any constant relation to the land of Israel which is the basic for their claims.

Mr. Pipes, there was outrage to your finding that the Arabs in Israel are a unique people because they fail all the traditional tests which would identify them as such. And I find it embarrassing that you use such recent dates to shore up your argument.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

First, I said 1920, not the 1960s. But more important is the basic rule that if a group considers itself a people, it is one. That's the only objective definition. By this rule, the Palestinians do make the cut as a people, however belligerent they are.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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